2013-14: Ryan Miller vs. Jaroslav Halak vs. Brian Elliott

The 2013-14 regular season is officially in the books. As the Blues turn their attention on the playoffs, let’s take a quick look back at the season that was. Specifically, let’s see how the three goaltenders for the Blues performed. This was the most criticized and scrutinized area on the roster, so it only makes sense to examine how things really went for the three men in the crease this season.

Halak: 40 games – 24-9-4, 2.23 GAA and a .917 SV%
Miller: 19 games – 10-8-1, 2.47 GAA and a .903 SV%
Elliott: 31 games – 18-6-2, 1.96 GAA and a .922 SV%

The stats aren’t totally representative of the complete picture, but they do show an alarming trend heading into the playoffs. Miller had an injury-riddled lineup in front of him as the season concluded, but that doesn’t take away from his ugly save percentage. Halak was often ridiculed over letting in soft goals and not making the big save when it mattered, but Miller was just as guilty in his 19 games with the Blues. Miller wasn’t bad, but he certainly wasn’t good. He was average and that’s not what the Blues were banking on.

Give Brian Elliott some credit. He had another outstanding season.

This is going to be interesting. The Blues paid a steep price to get Miller – a price that I went on record stating wasn’t the need the team needed to address. Halak never had an injury-free ride in the playoffs with the Blues and his casting off felt premature and unnecessary. Miller has the capability of being a strong netminder, but I never felt his skills versus Halak’s skills were worth paying a huge price to acquire.

Remember the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” expression? The Blues tinkered with what was working. If Miller and the Blues crash out of the playoffs early and the goaltender bails for Anaheim or a different organization this summer, the Blues will have no one to blame but themselves. They made a big gamble and as of the date of this article, it looks like it may not pay off.

Will this be the first move Doug Armstrong makes that really fails to pan out for the Blues?

David Rogers

About David Rogers

Managing Editor of the NHL blog Puck Drunk Love and Frozen Notes. Contributing writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback.